We got there at around 07:00 am when the light was perfect and the temperature still pleasant. On the way in, Christos could not resist but racing across the salt plain, driving around 100 km / h. A short walk takes you through an area that reminds of a field of corals of all possible colors.
It is heartbreaking to watch the ever increasing number of tourists, plus soldiers, trot on these beautiful formations, mostly not caring where they step down. Of course Heidi immediately came up with a “let’s limit access to a one path only plan”, but quickly learned that the place changes constantly and therefore the approach alters.
Usually tourists are only taken there in the morning, but we gave it a shot and asked if we could return in the late afternoon. We were ready to dish out the extra 50 US for the army, but guess what? They did not even bother asking for money. Even the colonel in charge of the local army unit came along. It seemed they just enjoyed the little excursion, especially the jeep speeding across the salt lake. This time, Christos managed almost 120 km / h.
Dallol looked quiet different in the afternoon, the water was more shallow at some points and the various formations seem to be darker in color. We saw pictures taken by travelers in 2009 that show larger differences: the living proof that Dallol lives and changes every single day, making each visit a unique experience.
When the sun was getting low the soldiers told us it was time to go. Lisa later told us that the locals don’t like visiting Dallol in the afternoon, because it would disturb the Djinn, a demon of the desert. We smiled knowingly, the next day we gave it a second thought.